The Blackpool Combat Club is a professional wrestling faction, but it’s the epitome of the real according to William Regal.
The British wrestling legend spent over 20 years with WWE before being released earlier this year and it wasn’t long before one of his closest friends in the business and beyond- beyond, Bryan Danielson, either on the phone.
“I was ready to have a year off,” Regal told talkSPORT. “Once I was fired from WWE, I had nothing. The only time I’ve had time off in 39 years is when I was really sick or injured. And when I I was injured, I didn’t leave. And when I was sick most of the time, I wasn’t absent because I was involved in something.
“I was ready to just have a year off and do nothing but talk to my son and guide him in what he’s doing. And then Bryan called me. What if it wasn’t Bryan who called me, I probably wouldn’t be here now. Nobody else would have convinced me of that. He didn’t even tell me about it, he just asked.
“We have a 22-year relationship, but he’s like another son to me. There were simply no questions asked. It was to come and do something with Bryan, but they didn’t even tell me what. “Of course I will, yeah.”
“A few days later I was having conversations with AEW, then two weeks later I was at the pay-per-view, it was that fast. Everything was put together in less than three weeks. I entered the building at 7:15 that night because I didn’t want people to see me there. I walked in and signed the deal before I got in the ring,” Regal revealed.
The 54-year-old became the veteran leader of Blackpool Combat Club where global superstars Jon Moxley and Bryan Daneilso use their skills and violent instincts to create the next generation of superstars while dominating today’s AEW.
Regal’s wrestling roots in Blackpool are the origin of the name, but the Brit is quick to point out that it was not his idea.
“If Bryan hadn’t asked me to be a part of this, who knows what would have happened. But I’m glad it happened and it’s a real thing.
“It’s on TV, but it’s the three of us. I got to know Jon Moxley really well during our 12 month FCW feud, we understand each other, I think it’s because we’re a pair of thugs. When they talked about doing that, they said Jon was involved and I was like ‘oh that’s awesome’. Then Jon came up with the name,” Regal said.
Despite all the perceptions about what pro wrestling is or isn’t, Regal says this stable is very real, in large part because of the impact it can have on the industry now and in the future. coming.
The first beneficiary of this is Wheeler Yuta, the first wrestler recruited to the BCC.
“But it’s a real thing. Together with Wheeler, we are determined to make him the best professional wrestler possible.
“With all these different influences and styles that we all picked up wherever we found them, I’m just as open to learning anything as they are. He’s in Japan now and in daily contact with one of us about something. That’s what made it what it is.
“Not just Wheeler, but everyone who fights the BCC. That’s another thing: you look at every talent, every young talent that gets to fight one of them, they get better. How I got here was to fight against better people. I’m blown away by Wheeler and Daniel Garcia as well.
Regal was the head scout for NXT, WWE’s development arm, for much of his career with the company.
The former King of the Ring winner said he wants to sign plenty of AEW talent today with NXT, Yuta and Garcia included.
“They got noticed on COVID. I was going to hire them last year in WWE. I had them and I was ready to [sign them], but then a change in philosophy occurred. I was going to hire them both so, I wanted to hire them.
“I’m so happy that whatever he’s done, he’s done an amazing job and now we’re all focused on giving him everything we have so he can get there much faster than we got there. He gets good so fast because we can all tell him over the past 20 years what not to do.
Another example of why the BCC is real? Regal and Danielson basically host open practice sessions on AEW TV days that all talent is welcome to get involved with.
“When I get to the building, I get there at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Me and Bryan are there in the ring and Wheeler is with us. We train and we train all day. To all the young talents watching us, we say “come and join us”.
“It’s not my job anymore, but it’s what I do. My phone is in my bag. It doesn’t come out, my wife knows I only check my phone twice a day. I don’t look at my phone, I’m here to learn, Bryan too.
“Bryan doesn’t have his phone with him because he’s here to learn. Wheeler doesn’t carry his phone with him because he wants to get better. That’s what it’s about.
“It’s about trying to get a bunch of new young wrestlers, there are a lot of them and there always have been, but, OK, a lot of hard work is needed and you really have to put in that. That’s why Wheeler gets good,” Regal said.
So how big can the BCC get? Regal says the group made the decision not to recruit all the talented young wrestlers they like, believing that working against them would be just as helpful.
“At first everyone was throwing names and even we were. But at the moment, from personal experience, I was a wrestler when I came to America. That was my style. A wrestling wrestler. There has several wrestling styles.
“We decided a few weeks ago, there’s a lot of people we’re watching, we’re still watching, but if you take all the ‘wrestlers’ off the table and put them with us, who are they supposed to fight? As for people who struggle in the same style?
“So even though they’re not part of that, but they can fight the group, you can see that every week on TV. Dante last week on TV, he’s a young man with a lot of talent. He has a great interest in British wrestling. Dante watches Johnny Saint, Steve Gray and all that.
“But who will he be able to do it with? One day we might say “OK, it’s time for that person” but that’s a real, conscious decision we made some time ago, it doesn’t matter if we have someone else at the moment because then you spread it [too thin].
“Another thing, there are three of us and we want to help Wheeler. We don’t think we know everything, we try to improve and that’s part of being competitive. Let’s focus on Wheeler first.
“Every second you spend with someone else takes time away from Wheeler. We will be focusing on him and everyone who fights against the BCC, this is passed on to them whether they know it or not, normally through a good kick.
“If they’re smart, they’ll come back and watch the tape. The ripple effect will help a lot of people rather than just putting everyone in our group. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say ‘I’d love to be a part of this’ and I know we’ve all done that.
“Yeah, don’t think we wouldn’t like you in there.” But you’d actually be better off if you weren’t in there and could fight us,” Regal explained.
BCC takes on Chris Jericho’s Appreciation Society at AEW Double or Nothing this Sunday in Arena Anarchy. It’s bound to be another exposition of what made Danielson and Moxley era-defining talents as Regal pulls the strings.
Watch AEW Double or Nothing on FITE, Sunday May 29 at 1am